Writing: Working Harder and Enjoyment

A recent post from Lazette Gifford struck a chord for me. Her “Zette’s Take: The Power of Attitude” was inspired from a previous post titled “Procrastination”.

“My last blog post brought me a couple interesting letters.  One was on the value of having a clean house, which I agree with . . . in theory.  (grin)

Another, though, was a lecture about working harder, not just ‘throwing words on a page and calling it good’ and how a writer who doesn’t work hard is never going to be a good writer.”

Oh, the lectures. How I love these, especially on this subject. It’s a sad subject, really, because it really is all about attitude and not about “working harder” at all.

In fact, Zette came to the same conclusion when she said:

“Far too many people seem to think that if you enjoy something, you can’t be working hard.”


When I come across someone with this point of view, it makes me think of several things:

  1. Wow, this person must have a sad life. It’s an either/or decision now? The two must be separated? If they work hard, do they not enjoy it? Or is any accidental enjoyment something to feel guilty about?
  2. Again, wow, this person must have a sad life. If they enjoy something, is it not worth as much as something they ‘work hard at’? If they enjoy it, it must automatically not be hard work? Is ‘enjoyment’ only for frivolous things?
  3. Ultimately, if you don’t enjoy doing something that is so much a part of your life, why are you doing it? Do you like only ‘working hard’ and not enjoy the process? Why is there such a divide between ‘hard work’ and ‘enjoyment’ that they are separating the two so much? Then I get sad for them again.

As Zette said, it’s attitude, people.

I’ve had people get after me because consistently writing so many words, and revising so many words, must mean I’m not working hard on the craft side of writing. I must be only throwing garbage at the page. No way can any ‘quality’ of any sort result.

To which I say horsehocky.

I’m working hard, and the fact I’m doing so not only proves it, but it also means I’m doing really well at the one thing a lot of writers have a hard time doing: applying the butt-glue.

Yep, that’s right. Not talking about writing or revising and hardly doing either, but actually sitting down and doing it.

That is what I work hard at: making myself sit down. This is the key to a prolific writer. Not a fast writing or typing speed, but the specific work ethic of sitting down and doing it.

By doing it, I’m learning by the act of writing and storytelling. By learning, I’m making future works better. I learn when I read, as well. I learn by watching people. I learn while watching TV and movies. Always learning from the world around me. Learning from every aspect of living.

Always learning, always applying, always writing, always revising, and loving every moment of it.

In other words, enjoying the process.

The sitting down part: hard work.

The writing part? Pretty much pure enjoyment. And, I don’t feel guilty about it a bit.


J.A. Marlow

Writing: Working Harder and Enjoyment
A planet-wide conspiracy is waiting at Grandmother’s house…

“Always wear the red hood and cape while you are in the forest,” Grandma admonished.

For a teen with purple and red hair, and an attitude to match, the small claustrophobic city of Oburos grows ever smaller with Uncle Travis’s attempts to take over her and her mother’s life.

An invitation to visit Grandmother’s house, nestled among the giant trees filling the planet, gives Kate a welcome respite. But, there is no time for rest. A conspiracy among the forest inhabitants, moving trees, and other mysteries await her at Grandmother’s house.

Kate learns just how little she knew of the forests, much less its animals. To survive she must learn fast, and that includes trust and teamwork.

And just where was Grandma, anyway?

A Science Fiction 83600, 335 page (approximate) word stand-alone novel retelling of the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood”.

AmazonWriting: Working Harder and Enjoyment | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

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Writing: Working Harder and Enjoyment

6 thoughts on “Writing: Working Harder and Enjoyment”

  1. I would stop to comment but I am having too much fun planning my next story. 🙂

    Seriously, there are always people who are jealous of the achievements or output of others, better they spend less time watching others and more time practicing “butt in chair”.

    Keep writing.

    • Jealousy does seem to be the source of some of the comments, DJ. It doesn’t make it any less annoying. 😀

      Have fun planning your next story!

    • @Katharina – Everythign seems to improve with more BIC. Even the Muse, which gets all wound up and throws even more ideas into the air. So much for using the prolific words to catch up on projects. 😉

  2. “Far too many people seem to think that if you enjoy something, you can’t be working hard.”

    Why? Why? Why?

    After having worked at far too many office jobs that were outright torture…the idea of going to work filled me with so much dread I usually went to work in tears and my stomach almost perpetually clenched. (This, especially, from one boss in particular, who thought I could magically learn some specialist lingo and work processes without some realtraining, not just on-the-job crap from someone else.)

    At least my current day is tolerable, since it give me some time to fit in my writing. The enjoyment of creating characters and worlds is pure pleasure, though getting from beginning to end ain’t always easy. 😉

    Equating getting a lot of stories out – and having fun doing it – with NOT working hard is just plain silly.

    • @Nancy – Glad to hear you are enjoying your storytelling! That’s the way it should be, and it will come across in the finished product. 🙂


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